Good news from The Guardian this morning, O2 UK's two year exclusive contract with Apple for the iPhone in the UK is coming to an end. Orange is entering the iPhone market later this year. That means for those of us who use the iPhone in Ireland there might be hope that O2 Ireland will soon face similar competition. I am almost 1 year into my 18 month contract for the iPhone 3G so I wont be switching networks straight away but I hope that with some competition in the market O2 will be forced to finally implement the features they have ignored up to now.
Visual Voicemail: now it's not a big thing but for some people it was an important feature when the original iPhone launched two years ago. A year and a new iPhone later O2 just announced it was too expensive to implement the advertised feature and they were shelving the project.
Tethering: a simple feature available on many other phones and just recently introduced on the iPhone 3.0 OS. Unfortunately O2 have not been keen to allow iPhone subscribers to use tethering. It appears they were worried that tethering, supported with other phones and contracts, would destroy their broadband market if it was allowed on the iPhone.
Hopefully O2 Ireland have a similar 2 year contract to O2 UK which might mean other networks should be preparing for the iPhone sometime between now and March next year. That might see me and other iPhone users getting more and paying less sooner than that if O2 wishes to keep their current subscribers.